Managing Demand, Rethinking Supply: Adaptation, Conservation, and Planning in the Drought-prone Southwestern U.S. and Northwest Mexico

Project Dates

Adaptation in water management is a greatly revered yet poorly understood goal and concept. The U.S. suffers from what's been called an “adaptation deficit”, but there is little comprehensive research on how to advance adaptation. Previous research has found that case studies of how adaptation is actually being delivered, and barriers to effective delivery (e.g., information, capacity, institutions), is a critical missing component of existing adaptation research. This project addresses this gap both theoretically and methodologically in four study sites in the Arizona-Sonora region of the U.S-Mexico border: Tucson, AZ; Yuma, AZ and the Colorado River delta; the Upper Gulf of California (from Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, north); and Hermosillo, Sonora. The key research questions guiding this project include: what is the role of networks in governance and the implications for using climate knowledge; what are the most effective climate services to support efforts to adapt; and how can decision-support tools build institutional adaptive capacity. Researchers examine these questions via interactive semi-structured interviews, a webinar series on the border climate, and a scientist-stakeholder symposium. Project outputs will include pilot development of an institutional adaptive capacity index; presentation of results at professional meetings, papers in peer-reviewed journals, workshop and symposia reports, the Webinar series, quarterly production of the Transborder Climate newsletter, and a project website.